In May 2021, the Australian Government announced a significant change to help providers prepare for the new Support at Home Program commencing on July 2023. The new CHSP funding model program will replace the CHSP, Home Care Packages, Short-Term Restorative Care, and residential respite programs. The government has provided a ‘transition period’ of 12 months to the service providers to report payment in arrears and adopt unit pricing. This transition will be a significant change for many CHSP providers and will require increased amounts of admin and a difference in the entire business strategy.
Three significant changes in the new CHSP funding model are:
- Payments: All the providers will transition from quarterly to monthly payments in arrears. The grant amount is to be divided into 12 parts.
- Reporting: All providers will be expected to report service delivery to DEX monthly instead of biannually. Reporting will be due 10 days after the month services were provided.
- Service price/unit price: Unit price ranges will be decided based on the review of grant agreements. The agreement from 2022-23 will now have a unit price for each service across all providers.
This transition is all about compliance
According to the Australian Government’s Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Sector Performance Report for July-September 2021, 34% of providers encountered challenges meeting quality standards. With this new transition, the department will monitor providers based on reporting the services delivered monthly through the Department of Social Services Data Exchange (DEX) system. This is to accurately track providers’ performance and use of the funds provided and help identify underperforming providers/organisations. After the initial transition, compliance checks will be conducted after 4 to 6 months. All CHSP providers will be able to access these updates under CHSP news.
Challenges brought by the transition to the new funding model
Managing change and providing support
The new funding model will impact all levels in the organisation, from field workers and volunteers to managers and directors. This transition demands an entire rewriting of your business strategy. The Department of Health will provide more information about targeted training and other support materials for CHSP providers over the next few months.
Implementing changes to business models
Business models should now not only focus on payments but also justify the pricing to the participants and what services were provided. With the new reporting requirements, participants are now at the centre.
Imposition on staff and volunteers to carry out certain activities and reporting
Reporting requirements demand significant changes to the way staff documents post-service delivery. After each session, staff, including volunteers, will be expected to report & justify the services provided, which calls for behavioural changes.
Team members need to document details after each service delivery which is a drastic change in how they perform their job role. This is also reflected during the compliance/audit every 4-6 months to receive the following funding.
Change in IT services used by the organisation
You must have understood the importance of reporting and managing that data. A case management system like Comm.care can streamline compliance and boost your organisation's efficiency, and Comm.care is a DEX-compatible case management system.
Setting fixed time periods to facilitate payment in arrears
Once the team has got their hands in the reporting period, you have to start building on the habit of claiming monthly as expected for the new model.
Additional admin/reporting costs
You understand that reporting frequency increases staff and admin efforts, which will require more admin hours and costs. Being efficient with a data management system will save costs.
Regulating the change in cash flow
The frequency of claims is directly proportional to an organisation's cash flow. You will be able to monitor your funds and forecast them accordingly. Managing the funds and better utilising them will be a core part of this new model.
What can you do to prepare for the CHSP new funding model?
Assess: Identify the needs of the participants, what you deliver/can deliver and how much it costs in unit price.
Classify: Classify common services among the beneficiaries/participants and plan their delivery approach.
Change behaviour: Changes to business strategy are only possible when teams learn and adopt new behaviours and practices. Reporting was not expected after each service delivery up until now. This means your team will need to document every detail of the service delivery, which requires habit. Share the Government’s Funding reform resources.
Set up the tools: The primary tool to set up is a sound case management system. The amount of information you will generate after the increased reporting frequency can become difficult to manage after a point, and by then, it will be too late. This is why you need to set up a case management system, if you haven’t yet, that takes care of your end-to-end reporting and compliance needs.
Adopt new CHSP funding model: Justify the actual services provided based on the arrears model and claim monthly.
- The types of services you provide and what their ‘UOM’ (Unit of measurement) is. E.g., You need to undertake a costing activity by service types with similar "Units of Service". Examples:
- If you are funded for services like domestic assistance, allied health, personal care, and social support individual, you will undertake a costing exercise using hours as the "Unit of Service".
- If you provide food services and delivered meals, you would undertake a costing exercise based on the number of meals delivered as the "Units of Service".
- In case of transport, you will undertake a costing exercise based on the number of trips delivered as the "Units of Service".
- For a home modification service, you will undertake a costing exercise based on dollars as the "Units of Service".
What are the opportunities here and how does Comm.care help?
Providers are increasingly turning to purpose-built care management software to support their organisation through the transition and beyond. With the support of a complete digitally integrated care management solution, providers can maintain compliance and easily report on data in real-time, streamline administrative tasks and have peace of mind knowing they can deliver value-based care to their clients.
Set KPIs to achieve in business (forecast deliverables as well as income):
- Create recurring appointments and schedules in advance to forecast deliverables & assign staff for team management.
- View real-time budget utilisation to keep up-to-date with the expenses.
Regulate the cashflow timely with payment in arrears:
- The first step towards the Support at home program is reporting monthly.
- Once you have Comm.care connected with DSS, the system will report back your CHSP activities from the point of care. No need to do anything at the end of the month; no reporting anything! Real-time data, report as it happens.
Comply with the new standards and policy: With accurate real-time reporting and documenting, you’ll be ready for monthly reporting and audits complying with new standards with accurate real-time reporting and documenting.
Be transparent to the consumers about the delivery of the services: More regular reporting and documentation not only comply with standards but also gives peace of mind to the provider and the participant as proof of effective care delivery over time.
Book a demo now to explore how Comm.care can empower your team and business to deliver person-centred care at scales.
Comm.care is a comprehensive platform designed to seamlessly streamline care management, invoicing, rostering, and compliance process. Comm.care offers a unified platform for organisations to collaborate with other care institutions and manage care for the elderly, people with disabilities, along with their families and friends.Visit Author